tv Presidential Debate PBS October 16, 2012 6:00pm-8:00pm PDT
exploring the world in comfort. united health care. online. the corporation for public broadcasting and viewers like you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: welcome to the pbs newshour's special coverage of the second presidential debate between president barack obama and former governor mitt romney of massachusetts. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. tonight, undecided voters, selected by the gallup polling organization, will question the candidates in a town hall format. the debate will be moderated by
candy crowley of cnn. it is taking place in the david s. mack sports and exhibition complex on the campus of hofstra university in hempstead, new york. it will begin in just a few seconds. >> ifill: mark shields and david brooks will be watching with us here in the studio, along with our colleague jeffrey brown, political editor christina bellantoni, and presidential historian michael beschloss. we'll hear from all of them after the debate, when we'll also be joined by ari shapiro of npr and jonathon martin of politico. they are at hofstra. >> woodruff: we're also streaming the debate online and offering additional content on our live blog. and here, now, is tonight's moderator, candy crowley. >> crowley: good evening from hofstra university in hempstead, new york. i'm candy crowley from cnn's state of the union. we are here for the second presidential debate at town hall sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. the gallup organization chose 82 uncommittedded voters from the new york area. their questions will drive the
night. my goal is to give the conversation direction and to ensure questions get answered the questions are known to me and my team only. neither the commission nor the candidates have seen them. i hope to get to as many questions as possible. because i am the optimistic sort, i'm sure the candidates will oblige by keeping their answers concise and on point. each candidate has as much as two minutes to respond to a common question, and there will be a two-minute follow-up. the audience here in the hall has agreed to be polite and atent tive. no cheering or booing or outbursts of any sort. we will set aside that agreement just this once to welcome president barack obama and governor mitt romney. ( cheers and applause )
>> crowley: gentlemen, thank you both for joining us here tonight. we have a lot of folks who have been waiting all day to talk to you. i want to get right to it. governor romney, as you know you won the coin toss so the first question will go to you. i want to turn to a first-time voter, jeremy epstein who has a question for you. >> mr. president, governor romney, as a 20-year-old college student all i hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when i graduate i'll have little chance to get employment. what can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents that i will be able to sufficiently support myself after i graduate. >> romney: thank you, jeremy. i appreciate your question. thank you for being here this evening and to all of those from nassau county who have come, thank you for your time. thank you to hofstra university and candy crowley for organizing and leading this event. thank you, mr. president, also for being part of this debate.
your question is one that's being asked by college kids all over this country. i was in pennsylvania with someone who just graduated. this was in philadelphia. she said, i got my degree. i can't find a job. i've got three part-time jobs. they're just barely enough to pay for my food and pay for an apartment. i can't begin to pay back my student loans so what we have to do is two things. we have to make sure we make it easier for kids to afford college and also make sure when they get out of college there's a job. when i was governor of massachusetts to get a high school degree, you had to pass an exam. if you graduated in the top quarter of your class, we gave you a john and abigail adams scholarship, four years tuition free to the college of your choice in massachusetts. it's a public institution. i want to make sure we keep our pel grant program growing. we're also going to have our loan program so that people are able to afford school. but the key thing is to make sure you can get a job when you get out of school. what's happened over the last four years has been very, very hard for america's young people.
i want you to be able to get a job. i know what it takes to get this economy going. with half of college kids graduating this year without a college... without a job and without a college-level job that's just unacceptable. likewise you've got more and more debt on your back. so more debt and less jobs. i'm going to change that. i know what it takes to create good jobs again. i know what it takes to make sure that you have the kind of opportunity you deserve. and kids across this country are going to recognize we're bringing back an economy. it's not going to be like the last four years. the middle class has been crushed over the last four years. and jobs have been too scarce. i know what it takes to bring them back. i'm going to do that and make sure when you graduate -- when do you graduate? 2014. when you come on the in 2014, i presume i'll be president. i'm going to make sure you get a job. thanks, jeremy. yeah, you bet. >> crowley: mr. president? obama: first of all your future is bright. and the fact that you're making an investment in higher education is critical.
not just to you but to the entire nation. now, the most important thing we can do is to make sure that we are creating jobs in this country but not just jobs, good-paying jobs. once that can support a family. what i want to do is build on the five million jobs we've created over the last 30 months in the private sector alone. there are a bunch of things we can do to make sure your future is bright. number one. i want to build manufacturing jobs in this country again. when governor romney said we should let detroit go bankrupt, i said, we're going to bet on american workers and american auto industry. it's come surging back. i want to do that in industries not just in detroit but all across the country. that means we change our tax code so we're giving incentives to companies that are investing here in the united states and creating jobs here. it also means we're helping them and small businesses to export all around the world in new markets. number two. we've got to make sure that we
have the best education system in the world. the fact that you're going to college is great. but i want everybody to get a great education. we worked hard to make sure that student loans are available for folks like you. but i also want to make sure that community colleges are offering slots for workers to get retrained for the jobs that are out there right now and the jobs of the future. number three. we've got to control our own energy. now not only oil and natural gas, which we've been investing in, but also we have to make sure we're building the energy sources of the future not just thinking about next year but ten years from now, 20 years from now. that's why we've invested in solar and wind and biofuels. energy efficient cars. we've got to reduce our deficit but we have to do it in a balanced way. asking the wealthy to pay a little bit more along with cuts so we can invest in education like yours. let's take the money that we've been spending on war over the last decade to rebuild america. roads, bridges, schools. if we do those things not only is your future going to be bright but america's future's going to be bright as well.
>> crowley: let me ask you for a more immediate answer beginning with mr. romney. just quickly, what can you do? we're looking at a situation where 40% of the unemployed have been unemployed for six months or more. they don't have the two years that jeremy has. what about those long-term unemployed who need a job right now? >> romney: what you're seeing in this country is is 23 million people struggling to find a job. a lot of them have been out of work for a long long long time. the president's policies have been exercised over the last four years. they haven't put americans back to work. we have fewer people working today than we had when the president took office. if the unemployment rate was 7.8% when he took office it's 7.8% now. but if you calculated that unemployment rate taking back the people who dropped out of the work force, it would be 10.7%. we have not made the progress we need to make to put people back to work. that's why i put out a
five-point plan that gets america 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay. it will help jeremy get a job when he comes out of school. it will help people across the country that are unemployed right now. one thing that the president said which i want to make sure that we understand, he said that i said we should take detroit bankrupt. and that's right. my plan was to have the company go through bankruptcy like 7-11 today and macy's and continental airlines and come out stronger. i know he keeps saying you wanted to take detroit bankrupt. the president took detroit bankrupt. you took general motors bankrupt. you took chrysler bankrupt. so when you say that i wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. and i think it's important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet so they could start hiring more people. that was sighsly what i recommended and ultimately what happened >> crowley: let me give the president a chance. >> obama: what goff knee romney
said just isn't true. he wanted to take them into bankruptcy without providing them anyway to stay open. we would have lost a million jobs. don't take my word for it. take the executives at g.m. and chrysler, some of whom are republicans, may even support governor romney. they'll tell you his prescription wasn't going to work. governor romney says he's got a five-point plan. governor romney doesn't have a five-point plan. he has a one-point plan. that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. that's been his philosophy in the private sector. that's been his philosophy as governor. that's been his philosophy as a presidential candidate. you can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less. you can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. you can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions and you still make money. that's exactly the philosophy that we've seen in place for the
last decade. that's what's been squeezing middle class families. and we have fought back for four years to get out of that mess. the last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us there. >> crowley: mr. president, the next question is going to be for you. mr. romney, governor romney, there will be plenty of chances here to go. i will let you absolutely >> romney: that detroit answer and the rest of the answer way off the mark >> crowley: you'll have lots of time here coming up because i want to move you on to something that sort of connected to cars here. and go over and we want to get a question from philip. >> your energy sector has been on record three times stating it's not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. do you agree with secretary chu that this is not the job of the energy department?
>> obama: the most important thing we can do is to make sure we control our own energy. so here's what i've done since i've been president. we have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades. we have seen increases in coal production and coal employment. but what i've also said is we can't just produce traditional sources of energy. we've also got to look to the future. that's why we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. that means in the middle of the next decade any car you buy you're going to end up going twice as far on a gallon of gas. that's why we've doubled clean energy production like wind and solar and biofuels. and all these things have contributed to us lowering our oil imports to the lowest levels in 16 years. now i want to build on that. that means, yes, we still continue to open up new areas for drilling.
we continue to make it a priority for us to go after natural gas. we've got potentially 600,000 jobs and 100 years worth of energy right beneath our feet with natural gas. we can do it in an environmentally sound way but we've also got to continue to figure out how we have efficient energy because ultimately that's how we're going to reduce demand. that's what's going to keep gas prices lower. now, governor romney will say he's got an all of the above plan but basically his plan is to let the oil companies write the energy policies. so he's got the oil and gas part but he doesn't have the clean energy part. and if we are only thinking about tomorrow or the next day and not thinking about ten years from now, we're not going to control our own economic future because china, germany, they're making these investments. and i'm not going to cede those
jobs of the future to those countries. i expect those new energy sources to be built right here in the united states. that's going to help jeremy get a job. it's also going to make sure you're not paying as much for gas >> crowley: governor, on the subject of gas prices >> romney: let's look at the president's policies as opposed to the rhetoric. we've had four years of policies being played out. the president is right in terms of the additional oil production but none of it came on federal land. as a matter of fact, oil production is down 14% this year on federal land. gas production is down 9%. why? because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands and in federal waters. so where did the increase come from? a lot of it came from north dakota. what was his participation there? the administration brought a criminal action against the people drilling up there for oil. this massive new resource we have. what was the cost? 20 or 25 birds were killed.
they brought out a migratory bird act to go after them on a criminal basis. look i want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables. i believe very much in our renewable capabilities, it's knoll beings wind, solar will be an important part of our energy mix. what we don't need is to have the president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal and gas. this has not been mr. oil or mr. gas or mr. coal. talk to the people working in those industries. i was in coal country, people grab my arms and say, please save my job. the head of the e.p.a. said you can't build a coal plant. you'll virtually... it's virtually impossible given our regulations. when the president ran for office, he said if you build a coal plant you can go ahead but you'll go bankrupt. that's not the right course for america. let's take advantage of the energy resources we have. as well as the energy sources for the future. if we do that, if we do what i'm planning on doing which is getting us energy independent,
north america energy independence within eight years, you're going to see manufacturing jobs come back because our energy is low cost. they're already beginning to come back because of our abundant energy. i'll get america and north america energy independent. i'll do it by more drilling, more permits and licenses. we're going to bring that pipeline in from canada. how in the world the president said no to that pipeline, i will never know. this is about bringing good jobs back for the middle class of america. that's what i'm going to do >> crowley: mr. president, let me see if i can move you to the gist of this question which is, are we looking at the new normal? i can tell you that tomorrow morning a lot of people will wake up and fill up and find that the price of gas is over $4 a gallon. is it within the purview of the government to bring those prices down or are we looking at the new normal? >> obama: candy, there's no doubt that world demand has gone up but our production is going up. we're using oil more efficiently. and very little of what governor
romney just said is true. we've opened up public lands. we're actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration. and the previous president was an oil man. and natural gas isn't just appearing magically. we're encouraging it. and working with the industry. and when i hear governor romney say he's a big coal guy. keep in mind when governor when you were governor of massachusetts you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at it and said, "this plant kills." and took great pride in shutting it down. and now suddenly you're a big champion of coal. so what i tried to do is be consistent. with respect to something like coal, we made the largest investment in clean coal technology to make sure that even as we're producing more coal, we're producing it cleaner and smarter. same thing with oil. same thing with natural gas. and the proof is our oil imports are down to the lowest levels in
20 years. oil production is up. natural gas production is up. and most importantly we're also starting to build cars that are more efficient. and that's creating jobs. that means those cars can be exported because that's the demand around the world. and it also means that it will save money in your pocketbook. that's the strategy you need on all of the above strategy. that's what we're going to do in the next four years >> romney: but that's not what you've done in the last four years. that's the problem. in the last four years you cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half >> obama: not true, governor romney >> romney: how much did you cut them >> obama: we have producedded more oil >> romney: how much did you cut licenses and permits >> obama: governor romney, here's what we did. there were a whole bunch... >> romney: i had a question. the question was how much did you cut them by? how much did you cut them by >> obama: i'm happy to answer the question >> romney: and it is obama: here's what happened romney: you had a whole bunch of oil companies who had leases on public lands that they
weren't using. so what we said was, you can't just sit on this for 10, 20, 30 years. decide when you want to drill, when you want to produce. when it's most profitable for you. these are public lands. so if you want to drill on public lands, you use it or you lose it. so what we did was take away those leases and we are now reletting them so we can actually make >> romney: and production on government land is down. >> obama: no it isn't romney: production is down 14% and production of gas is down 9% >> obama: just not true romney: it's absolutely true. look there's no question but the people recognize that we have not produced more oil and gas on federal lands and in federal waters and coal production is not up. coal jobs are not up. i was just at a coal facility where some 1200 people lost their jobs. the right course for america is to have a true all of the above policy. i don't think anyone really believes that you're a person who is is going to be pushing for oil and gas and coal.
you'll get your chance in a moment. i'm still speaking. the answer is i don't believe people think that's the case... that wasn't a question. that was a statement. i don't think the american people believe that. i will fight for oil, coal and natural gas. the proof of whether a strategy is working or not is what the price is that you're paying at the pump. if you're paying less than you paid a year or two ago, why then the strategy is working. but you're paying more. when the president took office the price of gasoline here in nassau county was about a buck 86 a gallon. now it's $4 a gallon. the price of electricity is up. if the president's energy policies are working, you're going to see the cost of energy come down. i will fight to create more energy in this country, to get america energy secure. part of that is bringing in a pipeline of oil from canada, taking advantage of the oil and coal we have here, drilling off shore in alaska. drilling off shore in virginia where the people want it. those things will get us the energy we need. >> crowley: mr. president, could you address because we did
finally get to gas prices here, could you address what the governor said, which is if your energy policy was working, the price of gasoline would not be $4 a gallon. is that true? >> obama: think about what the governor just said. he said when i took office the price of gasoline was $1.86. why is that? because the economy was on the verge of collapse. because we were about to go through the worst recession since the great compression. as a consequence, of some of the same policies that governor romney is now promoting. so it's conceivable that governor romney could bring down gas prices because with his policies we might be back in that same mess. what i want to do is to create an economy that is strong and at the same time produce energy. with respect to this pipeline that governor romney keeps on talking about, we've created... we've built enough pipelines to ap around the entire earth once. so i'm all for pipelines.
i'm all for oil production. what i'm not for is us ignoring the other half of the equation. for example, on wind energy when governor romney says these are imaginary jobs, when you've got thousands of people right now in iowa, right now in colorado, who are working, creating wind power with good-paying manufacturing jobs and the republican senator in that... in iowa is all for it, providing tax... to help this work and governor romney says i'm opposed. i'd get rid of it. that's not an energy strat for the future. we need to win that future. i intend to win it as president of the united states >> crowley: i've got to move you along. >> romney: he actually got the first question so i get the last answer on that >> crowley: in the follow-up it doesn't work that way. i'm going to give you a chance here. i promise you. i'm going to. and the next question is for you. so if you want to, you know, continue on, but i don't want to leave all these guys sitting here >> romney: i don't have a policy
of stopping wind jobs in iowa. and they're not phantom jobs. they're real jobs. i appreciate wind jobs in iowa and across our country. i appreciate the jobs in coal and oil and gas. i'm going to make sure we're taking advantage of our energy resources will bring back manufacturing to america. we're going to get through a very aggressionive energy policy, 3.5 million more jobs in this country. it's critical to our future >> obama: candy, i'm used to being interrupted >> crowley: we're going to move you both along to taxes over here and all these folks that have been waiting. governor, this question is for you. it comes from mary. >> governor romney, you have stated that if you're elected president, you would plan to reduce the tax rate for all the tax brackets and that you would work with the congress to eliminate some deductions in order to make up for the loss in revenue. concerning these various deductions, the mortgage
deduction, the charitable deduction, the child tax credit and also the -- what's that other credit? i forgot >> obama: you're doing great. h, i remember. the education credits which are important to me because i have children in college. what would be your position on those things which are important to the middle class? >> romney: thank you very much. let me tell you, you're absolutely right about part of that which is i want to bring the rates down. i want to simplify the tax code, and i want to get middle income tax payers to have lower taxes. and the reason i want middle income tax payers to have lower taxes is because middle income tax payers have been buried over the past four years. you've seen as middle income people in this country incomes go down $4,300 a family. even as gasoline prices have gone up $2,000. health insurance premiums, up $2,500. food prices up.
utility prices up. the middle income families in america have been crushed over the last four years. so i want to get relief to middle income families. that's part one. now how about deductions because i'm going to bring rates down across the board for everybody, but i'm going to limit deductions and exemptions and credits particularly for people at the high end because i am not going to have people at the high end pay less than they're paying now. the top 5% of tax payers will continue to pay 60% of the income tax the nation collects. so that will stay the same. middle income people are going to get a tax break. and so in terms of bringing down deductions one way of doing that would be to say everybody gets -- i'll pick a number -- $25,000 of deductions and credits. you can decide which ones to use. your moment mortgage interest deduction, charity, child tax credit, and so forth. you can use those as part of fill in that bucket, if you will, of deductions but your rate comes down and the burden also comes down on you for one
more reason. that is every middle income tax payer no longer will pay any tax on interest, dividends or capital gains. no tax on your savings. that makes life a lot easier. if you're getting interest from a bank, if you're getting a statement from a mutual fund or any other kind of investment you have, you don't have to worry about filing taxes on that because there will be no taxes for anybody making $200,000 a year and less on your interest, dividends and capital gains. why am i lowering taxes on the middle class? because under the last four years they've been buried. i want to help people in the middle class. i will not, i will not under any circumstances reduce the share that's being paid by the highest income tax payers. i will not under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle class. the president's spending, the president's borrowing will cause this nation to have to raise taxes on the american people not just on the high end. a recent study has shown that
people in the middle class will see $4,000 a year higher taxes as a result of the spending and borrowing of this administration. i will not let that happen. i'll get us on track to a balanced budget. i'm going to reduce the tax burden on middle income families. what is that going t? help those families and create incentives to start growing jobs again in this country. >> crowley: thanks, governor. obama: my philosophy on taxes has been simple. that is i want to give middle class families and folks who are striving to get in the middle class some relief. because they have been hit hard over the last decade. over the last 15 over the last 20 years. so four years ago i stood on a stage just like this one it was a town hall and i said i would cut taxes for middle class families. that's what i've done by $3600. i said i would cut taxes for small businesses who are the drivers and engines of growth. we've cut them 18 times. i want to continue those tax
cuts for middle class families and for small businesses. but what i've also said is if we're serious about reducing the deficit, if this is genuinely a moral obligation to the next generation, then in addition to some tough spending cuts, we've also got to make sure that the wealthy do a little bit more. so what i've said is your first $250,000 worth of income, no change. that means 9% of american families, 97% of small businesses, they will not see a tax increase. i'm ready to sign that bill right now. the only reason it's not happening is because governor romney's allies in congress have held the 98% hostage because they want tax breaks for the top 2%. but what i've also said is for above $250,000, we can go back to the tax rates we had when bill clinton was president. we created 23 million new jobs. that's part of what took us from
deficits to surplus. it will be good for our economy and it will be good for job creation. now governor romney has a different philosophy. he was on "60 minutes" just two weeks ago. he was asked, is it fair for somebody like you, making $20 million a year to pay a lower tax rate than a nurse or a bus driver, somebody making $50,000 a year? he said, yes, i think that's fair. he said, "i think that's what's grows the economy." i fundamentally disagree with that. i think what grows the economy is when you get that tax credit that we put in place for your kids going to college, i think that grows the economy. i think what grows the economy is when we make sure small businesses are getting a tax credit for hiring veterans who fought for our country. that grows our economy. so we just have a different theory. when governor romney stands here after a year of campaigning, when during a republican primary he stood on stage and said i'm
going to give tax cuts -- he didn't say tax rate cuts but tax cuts to everybody including the top 1%, you should believe him because that's been his history. and that is exactly the kind of topdown economics that is not going to work if we want a strong middle class and an economy that's thriving for everybody >> crowley: governor romney, i'm sure you've got a reply there >> romney: you're absolutely right. you heard what i said about my tax plan. the top 5% will continue to pay 60% as they do today. i'm not looking to cut taxes for wealthy people. i am looking to cut taxes for middle income people. why do i want to bring rates down? and at the same time lower exemptions and deductions particularly for people at the high end? because if you bring rates down it makes it easier for small business to keep more of their capital and hire people. and for me this is about jobs. i want to get america's economy going again. 54% of america's workers work in
businesses that are taxed as individuals. so when you bring those rates down, those small businesses are are able to keep more money and hire more people. for me, i look at what's happened in the last four years and say, this has been a disappointment. we can do better than this. we don't have to settle for how many months, 43 months with unemployment above 8%? 23 million americans struggling to find a good job right now. there are 3.5 million more women living in poverty today than when the president took office. we don't have to live like this. we can get this economy going again. my five-point plan does it. energy independence for north america in five years, opening up more trade particularly in latin america, cracking down on china when they cheat, getting us to a balanced budget, fixing our training programs for our workers and finally championing small business. i want to help small businesses grow and thrive. i know how to make that happen. i spent my life in the private sector. i know why jobs come and why
they go. and they're going now because of the policies of this administration >> crowley: governor, let me ask you the president something about what you just said. the governor said that he is not going to allow the top 5%, i believe is what he said, to have a tax cut, that it will all even out. what he wants to do is give that tax cut to the middle class. settled? >> obama: no, it's not settled. look, the cost of lowering rates for everybody across the board 20% along with what he also wants to do in terms of eliminating the estate tax, along with what hes to do in terms of corporate changes in the tax code, it costs about $5 trillion. governor romney then also wants to spend $2 trillion on additional military programs even though the military is not asking for it. that's $7 trillion. he also wants to continue the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans.
that's another trillion dollars. that's $8 trillion. now what he says is he's going to make sure that this doesn't add to the deficit and he's going to cut middle class taxes. but when he's asked how are you going to do it, which deductions, which loopholes are you going to close he can't tell you. the fact that he only has to pay 14% on his taxes when a lot of you are paying much higher, he's already taken that off the board. capital gains are going to to be at a low rate so we're not going to get money that way. we haven't heard from the governor any specifics beyond big bird and eliminating funding for planned parenthood in terms of how he pays for that. now, governor romney was a very successful investor. if somebody came to you, governor, with a plan that said, here, i want to spend 7 or 8 trillion dollars and then we're
going to pay for it but we can't tell you until maybe after the election how we're going to do it, you wouldn't have taken such a sketchy deal. and neither should you, the american people. because the math doesn't add up. and what's at stake here is one of two things. either candy, this blows up the deficit because, keep in mind, tht just to pay for the additional spending that he's talking about, 7-8 trillion dollars. that's before we get to the deficit we already have. or alternatively it has to be paid for not only by closing deductions for wealthy individuals. that will pay for about 4% reduction in tax rates. you're going to be paying for it. you'll lose some deductions. you can't buy this sales pitch. nobody who has looked at it that's serious actually believes it adds up >> crowley: mr. president, let me get the goff inner on this. governor, before we get into a vast array of who says what, if
it shouldn't add up, if somehow when you get in there, there isn't enough tax revenue coming in, if someone the numbers don't add up, would you be willing to look again at a 20%... >> romney: of course they add up. i was someone who ran businesses for 25 years. and balanced the budget. i ran the olympics and balanced the budget. i ran the state of massachusetts as a governor to the extent any governor does and balanced the budget all four years. when we're talking about math that doesn't add up, how about $4 trillion of deficits over the last four years, $5 trillion. that's math that doesn't add up. we have a president talking about someone's plan in a way that's completely foreign to what my real plan is. and then we have his own record. which is we have four consecutive years where he said when he was running for office he would cut the deficit in
half. instead he's doubled it. we've gone from $10 trillion of national debt to $16 trillion of national debt. if the president were re-elected we'd go to almost $2 $trillion f national debt. this puts us on a road to greece. i know what it takes to balance budgets. i've done it moi entire life. for instance when he says yours is a $5 trillion cut. it's not because i'm offsetting some of the deductions with holding down some of the deductions >> crowley: governor, i need to have you both... i understand the stakes here. i understand both of you. but i will get run out of town if i don't move on. >> romney: i just described to you precisely how i do it which is with a single number that people can put their deductions and credits... >> crowley: mr. president the next question is for you so stay standing. >> obama: looking forward to it crowley: catherine has a question for you.
>> in what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace? specifically regarding females making only 72% of what their male counterparts earn? >> obama: that's a great question. you know, i was raised by a single mom. who had to put herself through school while looking after two kids. she workd hard every day and made a lot of sacrifices to make sure we got everything weed. my grandmother, she started off as a secretary in a bank. she never got a college education. even though she was smart as a whip. she worked her way up to become vice president of a local bank but she hit the glass ceiling. she trained people who would end up becoming her bosses during the course of her career. she didn't complain. that's not what you did in that generation. this is one of the reasons why one of the first... the first
bill i signed was something called the leadbetter bill named after this amazing woman who been doing the same job as a man for years, found out that she was getting paid less and the supreme court said she couldn't bring suit because she should have found out about it earlier when she had no way of finding out about it. so we fixed that. that's an example of the kind of advocacy that we need because women are increasingly the bread winners in the family. this is not just a women's issue. this is a family issue. this is a middle class issue. that's why we've got to fight for it. it also means that we've got to make sure that young people like yourself are able to afford a college education. earlier governor romney talked about he wants to make pel grants and other education accessible for young people. the truth of the matter is that that's exactly what we've done. we've expanded pel grants for
millions of people including millions of young women all across the country. we did it by taking $60 billion that was going to banks and lenders as middlemen for the student loan program and we said, let's just cut out the middleman and give the money directly to students. as a consequence beef seen millions of young people be able to afford college. that's going to make sure that young women are going to be able to compete in that marketplace. we've got to enforce the laws which is what we are doing. and we've also got to make sure that in every walk of life, we do not tolerate discrimination. that's been one of the hallmarks of my administration. i'm going to continue to push on this issue for the next four years. >> crowley: governor romney, pay equity for women >> romney: thank you. important topic. one which i learned a great deal about particularly as i was serving as governor of my state. because i had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.
and i went to my staff and i said how come all the people for these jobs are all men? they said these are the people that have the qualifications. i said, gosh, can't we find some women that are also qualified? and so we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. i went to a number of women's groups and said can you help us find folks? they brought us binders full of women. i was proud of the fact that after i staffed my cabinet and my senior staff that the university of new york in albany did a survey of all 50 states and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in america. now one of the reasons i was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort but number two because i recognized if you're going to have women in the work force that sometimes they need to be more flexible. my chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school. she said i can't be here until 7:00 or 8:00 at night. i need to be able to get home at
5:00 so i can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. we said fine let's have a flexible schedule to you can have hours that work for you. we're going to have to have employers in the new economy, the economy i'm going to bring into play that are going to be so anxious to get good workers they're going to be anxious to hire women. in the last four years women have lost 580,000 jobs. that's the net of what's happened in the last four years. we're still down 580,000 jobs. i mentioned 3.5 million women more now in poverty than four years ago. what we can do to help young women and women of all ages is is to have a strong economy, so strong that employers are looking to find good employees and bringing them into their work force. and adapting to a flexible work schedule that gives women the opportunities that they would otherwise not be able to afford. this is what i've done. it's what i look to doing and i
know what it takes to make an economy work. i know what a working economy looks like. and an economy with 7.8% unemployment is not a real strong economy. an economy that has 23 million people looking for work is not a strong economy. an economy with 50% of kids graduating from college that can't find a job or a college-level job, that's not what we have to have. i'm going to help women in america get good work by getting a stronger economy and by supporting women in the work force. >> crowley: mr. president, why don't you get in on this quickly. >> obama: i want to point out when governor romney's campaign was asked about the bill whether he supported i, he said i'll get back to you. that's not the kind of advocacy that women need in any economy. now, there are some other issues that have a bearing on how women succeed in the workplace. for example, their health care. now, a major difference in this
campaign is that governor romney feels comfortable having politicians in washington decide the health care choices that women are making. i think that's a mistake. in my health care bill i said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is is insured because this is not just a health issue. it's an economic issue for women. it makes a difference. this is machiney out of that family's pocket. governor romney not only opposed it. he suggested that, in fact, employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage. that's not the kind of advocacy that women need. when governor romney says we should eliminate funding for planned parenthood there are millions of women all across the country who rely on planned parenthood not for not
just contraception but mammograms and cervical cancer screenings. that's a pocketbook issue for women and families all across the country. it makes a difference in terms of how well and effectively women are able to work. when we talk about child care and the credits that we're providing, that makes a difference in terms of whether they can go out there and earn a living for their family. these are not just women's issues. these are family issues. these are economic issues. one of the things that makes us grow as an economy is when everybody participates and women are getting the same fair deal as men are. i've got two daughters. i want to make sure that they have the same opportunities that anybody's sons have. that's a part of what i'm fighting for as president of the united states >> crowley: i want to move us along here to susan katz who has a question. governor, it's for you. >> governor romney, i am an
undecided voter because i'm disappointed with the lack of progress i've seen in the last four years. however, i do attribute much of america's economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the bush administration. since both you and president bush are republicans, i fear a return to the policies of those years should you win this election. what is the biggest difference between you and george w. bush and how do you differentiate yourself from george w. bush? >> romney: thank you. i appreciate that question. i just want to make sure that... i think i was supposed to get that last answer but i want to point out that i don't believe >> obama: i don't think so, candy >> romney: i want to make sure our time keepers are working >> crowley: the time keepers are working. let me tell you that the last part for the two of you to talk to one another it isn't quite
what you think. use this two minutes any way you would like to. the question is on the floor >> romney: i would just note that i don't believe that bureaucrats in washington should tell someone whether they should use contra tiffs or not. i don't believe employers should tell someone that. every woman should have access to contraceptives and the president's statement of my policy is completely and totally wrong. >> obama: governor, that's not true >> romney: let me answer your question. president bush and i are different people. these are different times. that's why my five-point plan is so different than what he would have done. for instance, we can now by virtue of new technology actually get all the energy we need in north america without having to go to the arabs or the venezuelans or anyone else. that wasn't true in his time. that's why my policy starts with a very robust policy to get all that energy in north america, become energy secure. number two. trade. i'll crack down on china. president bush didn't. i'm also going to dramatically expand trade in latin america.
it's been growing about 12% per year over a long period of time. i want to add more free trade agreements so we'll have more trade. number three i'm going to get us to a balanced budget. president busch didn't. president obama was right. he said that was outrageous to have deficits as high as half a trillion dollars under the bush years. he was right. but then he put in place deficits twice that size. for everyone of his four years. and his forecast for the next four years is more deficits. almost that large. so that's the next area i'm different than president bush. then let's take the last one. championing small business. our party has been focused on big business too long. i came through small business. i understand how hard it is to start a small business. that's why everything i'll do is designed to help small businesses grow. and add jobs. i want to keep their taxes down. on small business. i want regulators to see their job as encouraging small enterprise not crushing it. the thing i find most troubling
about obama care, well, it's a long list. but one of the things i find most troubling is when you ask small businesses what they think about it, they tell you it keeps them from hiring more people. my priority is jobs. i know how to make that happen. president bush had a very different path for a very different time. my path is designed in getting small businesses to grow and hire people. >> crowley: thanks, governor. mr. president. >> obama: well, first of all, i think it's important to tell you that we did come in during some tough times. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month when i started. but we had been digging our way out of policies that were misplaced and focused on the top doing very well and middle class folks not doing well. we've seen 30 consecutive... 31 consecutive months of job growth. 5.2 million new jobs created. and the plans that i talked about will create even more.
but when governor romney says that he has a very different economic plan, the center piece of his economic plan are tax cuts. that's what took us from surplus to deficit. when he talks about getting tough on china, yeah, keep in mind that governor romney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing to china. and he's currently investing in countries... in companies that are building surveillance equipment for china to spy on its own folks. governor, you're the last person who is going to get tough on china. what we've done when it comes to trade is not only sign trade deals to open up new markets but we've also set up a task force for trade that goes after anybody who is taking advantage of american workers or businesses and not creating a level playing field. we've brought twice as many cases against unfair trade
practices than the previous administration and we've won every single one that's been decided. when i said that we had to make sure that china was not flooding our domestic market with cheap tires, governor romney said i was being protectionist, that it wouldn't be helpful to american workers. well in fact we saved 1,000 jobs. that's the kind of tough trade actions that are required. but the last point i want to make is this: there are things where governor romney is different from george bush. george bush didn't propose turning medicaid into a voucher. george bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform. he didn't call for self-deportation. george bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for planned parenthood. so there are differences between governor romney and george bush. but they're not on economic policy. in some ways he's gone to a more extreme place when it comes to
social policy. i think that's a mistake. that's not how we're going to move our economy forward >> crowley: i want to move you both along to the next question because it's in the same wheel house. you will be able to respond. but the president does get this question. i want to call on michael jones. >> mr. president, i voted for you in 2008. what have you done or accomplishedded to earn my vote in 2012? i'm not that optimistic as i was in 2012. most things i need for everyday living are very expensive. >> obama: well, we've gone through a tough four years. there's no doubt about it. but four years ago i told the american people and i told you i would cut taxes for middle class families. i did. i told you i would cut taxes for small businesses. and i have. i said i that would end the war in iraq. and i did. i said we'd refocus attention on those who actually attacked us on 9/11. we have gone after al qaeda's
leadership like never before and osama bin laden is dead. i said that we would put in place health care reform to make sure that insurance companies can't jerk you around and if you don't have health insurance that you'd have a chance to get affordable insurance and i have. i committed that i would rein in the excesses of wall street. we passed the toughest wall street reforms since the 1930s. we've created five million jobs gone from 800,000 jobs a month being lost. we are making progress. we saved an auto industry that was on the brink of collapse. now, does that mean you're not struggling? absolutely not. a lot of us are. that's why the plan that i put forward for manufacturing and education and reducing our deficit in a sensible way, using the savings from ending wars to rebuild america and putting people back to work, making sure that we are controlling our own energy but not just the energy
of today but also the energy of the future, all those things will make a difference. so the point is, the commitments i've made i've kept. and those that you haven't been able to keep, it's not for lack of trying. we're going to get it done in a second term. but you should pay attention to this campaign because governor romney made some commitments as well. i suspect he'll keep those too. when members of the republican congress say we're going to sign a no tax pledge, we don't ask a dime from millionaires and billionaires to reduce our deficit to we can invest in education and helping kids go to college. he said me too. when they said we're going to cut planned parenthood funding, he said me too. when he said we're going to repeal obama care, first thing i'm going to do, despite the fact that it's the same health care plan that he passed in massachusetts and is working well. he said me too. that is not the kind of
leadership that you need. but you should expect that those are promises he's going to keep. >> crowley: mr. president... obama: the choice is whose promises will be more likely who will help you to make sure your kids can go to college, make sure you are getting a good... >> crowley: mr. president, thank you. governor. snof i think you know better. i know you know these last four years haven't been so good that the president just described and you don't feel like you're confident that the next four years will be much better either. if you were to elect president obama you know what you'll get. you're going to get a repeat of the last four years. we just can't afford four more years like the last four years. he said that by now we'd have unemployment at 5.4%. the difference between where it is and 5.4% is nine million americans without work. i wasn't the one that said 5.4%. this was the president's plan.
didn't get there. he said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform medicare and social security. because he pointed out they're on the road to bankruptcy. he would reform them. he'd get that done. he hasn't even made a proposal on either one. he said in his first year he'd put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. didn't even file it. this is a president who has not been able to do what he said he'd do. he said he'd cut in half the deficit. he hasn't done that either. in fact he doubled i. he said that by now middle income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. it's gone up by $2,500 a year. if obama care is passed or implemented, it's already been passed, if it's implemented fully, it will be another $2,500 on top. the middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. he keeps saying look i've
created five million jobs. that's after losing five million jobs. the entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country. the unemployment, the number of people who are looking for work is still 23 million americans. there are more people in poverty. one out of six people in poverty. how about food stamps? when he took office 2 million people were on food stamps. today 47 million. people are on food stamps. how about the growth of the economy? it's growing more slowly this year than last year. and more slowly last year than the year before. the president wants to do well. i understand. but the policies he's put in place from obama care to dodd frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies, these policies combined have not led this economy... let this economy take off and grow like it could have. do you have an example of when it works better? yeah. in the reagan recession where unemployment hit 10.8% between
that period, the end of that recession and equivalent period of time to today, ronald reagan's recovery created twice as many jobs as this president's recovery. five million jobs doesn't even keep up with our population growth. and the only reason the unemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all the people that have dropped out of the work force. the president has tried but his policies haven't worked. he's great as a speaker and describing his plans and his vision. that's wonderful except we have a record to look at. and that record shows he just hasn't been able to cut the deficit, to put in place refors for medicare and social security, to preserve them, to get us the rising incomes we need. median income is down 4300 dollars a family and 23 million americans out of work. that's what this election is about it's about who can get the middle class in this country a bright and prosperous future and assure our kids the kind of hope and optimism they deserve
>> crowley: governor, i want to move you along. don't go away. we'll have plenty of time to respond. we're quite aware of the clock for both of you. i want to bring in a different subject here. mr. president, i'll be right back with you. lorraine has a question for you about a topic. >> obama: this is for governor romney >> crowley: yes, for the governor and we'll be right with you. >> romney: lorraine how are you doing? romney: good, things. mr. romney, what do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society? >> romney: thank you, lorraine. did i get that right? thank you for your question. let me step back and tell you what i'd like to do with our immigration policy broadly and include an answer to your question. first of all, this is a nation of immigrants. we welcome people coming to this country as immigrants. my dad was born in mexico of american parents. ann's dad was born in wales and
is a first-generation american. we welcome legal immigrants into this country. i want our legal system to work better. i want it to be streamlined. i want it to be clearer. you shouldn't have to hire a lawyer to figure out how to get into this country legally. i also think we should give visas to people, green cards rather to people who graduate with skills that we need, people around the world with accredited degrees in science and math. get a green card stapled to their diploma. come to the usa. we should make sure that our legal system works. number two we're going to have to stop ill lem immigration. there are four million people who are waiting in line to get here legally. those who come here illegally take mr. place. i will not grant amnesty to those who come here illegally. what i will do is put in place an employment verification system and make sure that employers that hire people who have come here illegally are sanctioned for doing so. i won't put in place magnets for people coming here illegally so for instance i would not give driver's licenses to those that have come here illegally as the
president would. the kids of those that came here illegally, those kids i think should have a pathway to become a permanent resident of the united states. military service, for instance, is one way they would have that kind of pathway to become a permanent resident. now when the president ran for office, he said that he would put in place in his first year a piece of legislation he'd file a bill in his first year that would reform our immigration system. protect legal immigration. stop illegal immigration. he didn't do it. he had a democrat house, a democrat senate. super majority in both houses. why did he fail to even promote legislation that would have provided an answer for those that want to come here legally and for those that are here illegally today? that's a question i think the president will have a chance to answer right now >> obama: good. i look forward to it. lorraine, we are a nation of immigrants. i mean, we're just a few miles
away from ellis island. we all understand what this country has become because talent from all around the world wants to come here. people who are willing to take risks, people who want to build on their dreams and make sure their kids have even bigger dreams than they have. but we're also a nation of laws. what i said is we need to fix a broken immigration system. i've done everything that i can on my own and sought cooperation from congress to make sure that we fix the system. first thing we did was to streamline the legal immigration system, to reduce the backlog, make it easier, simpler and cheaper for people who are waiting in line, obeying the law to make sure that they can come here and contribute to our country. that's good for our economic growth. they'll start new businesses. they'll make things happen to create jobs here in the united states. number two. we do have to deal with our border so we put more border patrol on than any time in
history and the flow of undocumented workers across the border is actually lower than it's been in 40 years. what i've also said is if we're going to go after folks who are here illegally, we should do it smartly and go after folks who are criminals, gang bangers, people who are hurting the community, not after students, not after folks who are here just because they're trying to figure out how to feed their families. that's what we've done. what i've also said is for young people who come here, brought here often times by their parents, have gone to school here, pledged allegiance to the flag, think of this as their country, understand themselves as americans, in every way except having papers, then we should make sure that we give them a pathway to citizenship. that's what i've done administratively. now governor romney just said that, you know, he wants to help those young people too but during the republican primary he said i will veto the dream act
that would allow these young people to have access. his main strategy during the republican primary was to say we're going to encourage self-deportation. making life so miserable on folks that they'll leave. he called the arizona law a model for the nation, part of the arizona law said that law enforcement officers could stop folks because they suspected maybe they looked like they might be undocumented workers. and check their papers. you know what? if my daughter or yours looks to somebody like they're not a citizen, i don't want to empower somebody like that. so we can fix this system in a comprehensive way. when governor romney says the challenge is, well, obama didn't try. that's not true. i sat down with democrats and republicans at the beginning of my term.
i said let's fix this system including senators previously who supported it on the republican side. but it's very hard for republicans in congress to support comprehensive immigration reform if their standard bearer has said that this is not something i'm interestd in supporting. >> crowley: let me give the governor in here, mr. president. let's speak to you if could, governor, the idea of self-deportation >> romney: let me speak to the points the president made and let's get them correct. i did not say that the arizona law was a model for the nation in that aspect. i said that the e-verify portion of the arizona law, which is the portion of the law which says that employers could be able to determine whether someone is here illegally that that is a model for the nation. that's number one. number two i asked the president a question. i think hispanics and immigrants all over the nation have asked. he was asked this on uni-vision the other day. why when you said you would file
legislation in your first year you didn't do it. he said the standard bearer wasn't for it. i'm glad you thought i was the standard bearer four years ago but i wasn't. four years ago you said in your first year you would file legislation. in his first year, i was just licking my wounds from having been beaten by john mccain. i was not the standard bearer. my view is that president should have honored his promises to do as he said. let me mention one other thing much that is self-deportation says let people make their own choice. what i was saying is we're not going to round up 12 million people undocumented illegals and take them out of the nation. instead let people make their own choice. and if they find that they can't get the benefits here that they want and they can't find the job they want then they'll make a decision to go a place where they have better opportunities. but i'm not in favor of rounding up people and taking them out of this country. i am in favor as the president has said and i agree with him which is that if people commit a crime we have to get them out of
this country. let me mention something else the president said a moment ago. i didn't get a chance to when he was describing chinese investments and so forth. >> obama: kean, hold on a second romney: mr. president, i'm still speaking. >> obama: governor romney, i'm... >> crowley: let governor romney finish. if you can make it short. all these people have been waiting for you >> romney: i just want to make a point. any investments i've had over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. i understand they do include investments outside the united states. including in chinese companies. mr. president have you looked at your pension? have you looked at your pension >> obama: i have to say romney: have you looked at your pension >> obama: i don't look at my pension. it's not as big as yours. so it doesn't as long. i don't check it that often >> romney: let me give you some advice. look at your pension. you also have investments in chinese companies and outside the united states. you have investments to a cayman trust. mr. president...
>> romney: we're a little off topic here >> crowley: we're completely off 679 we were talking about immigration. >> obama: i do want to make sure crowley: if i could have you sit down, goff for romney. thank you >> obama: governor romney said he wasn't reefing to arizona as a model for a nation. his top add vie visor on immigration is the guy who designed the arizona law, the entire tee of it. the whole thing. that's his policy. it's a bad policy. and it won't help us grow. look, when we think about immigration, we have to understand there are folks all around the world who still see america as the land of promise. they provide us energy and they provide us innovation. and they start companies like intel and google. we want to encourage that. now we've got to make sure that we do it in a smart way and a comprehensive way and we make the legal system better. but when we make this into a
divisive political issue and when we don't have bipartisan support -- i can deliver, governor, a whole bunch of democrats to get comprehensive reform done >> romney: i'll get it done the first year. >> crowley: mr. president, let me move you on, please. >> obama: it's time for them to get serious on it. this used to be a bipartisan issue >> crowley: don't go away obama: i'm here crowley: i want to talk to a woman who wants to switch the topic for us. >> obama: okay. hi, kerry. >> good evening, mr. president. obama: what's your name? it's kerry. this question actually comes from a brain trust of my friends at global tell come supply yesterday. we were sitting around talking about libya. and we were reading and became aware of reports that the state department refused extra security for embassy in benghazi libya prior to the attacks that killed four americans. who was it that denied enhanced
security and why? >> obama: let me first of all talk about our diplomats because they serve all around the world. and do an incredible job in very dangerous situation. these aren't just representatives of the united states. they're my representatives. i send them there. oftentimes into harm's way. i know these folks. and i know their families. so nobody is more concerned about their safety and security than i am. so once we found that benghazi consulate was being overrun, i was on the phone with my national security team and i gave them three instructions. number one, beef up our security and procedures not just in libya but at every embassy and consulate in the region. number two, investigate exactly what happened. regardless of where the facts lead us. make sure that folks are held accountable and it doesn't happen again. and number three, we are going
to find out who did this and we're going to hunt them down because one of the things that i've said throughout my presidency is when folks mess with americans, we go after them. now, governor romney had a very difference different response. while we were still dealing with our diplomats being threatened, governor romney put out a press release. trying to make political points. that's not how a commander in chief operates. you don't turn national security into a political issue. certainly not right when it's happening. people, not everybody agrees with some of the decisions i've made. when it comes to our national security, i mean what i say. i said i would end the war in libya, in iraq, and i did. i said that we'd go after al qaeda and bin laden, we have. i said we would transition out of afghanistan and start making sure that afghans are responsible for their own
security. that's what i'm doing. when it comes to this issue, when i that we are going to find out exactly what happened, everybody will be held accountable, and i am ultimately responsible for what is taking place there because these are my folks and i'm the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home. you know that i mean what i say >> crowley: mr. president i have to move us along. governor. >> romney: thank you, kerry, for your question. it's an important one. i think the president just said correctly that the buck does stop at his desk. he takes responsibility for that... the failure in providing those security resources and those terrible things may well happen from time to time. i feel very deeply sympathetic for the families of those who lost loved ones. today there's a memorial service for one of those lost in this tragedy. we think of their falllies and care for them deeply. there are other issues
associated with this tragedy. there were many days that passed before we knew whether this was a spontaneous demonstration or a terrorist attack. there was no demonstration involved. it was a terrorist attack. it took a long time for that to be told to the american people. whether there was some misleading or instead whether we don't know what happened. we have to ourselves why didn't we know five days later when the ambassador to the united nations went on tv to say this was a demonstration. how could we have not known? but i find more troubling than this that on the day following the assassination of united states ambassador the first time that's happened since 1979, when we have four americans killed there, when apparently which didn't know what happened that the president the day after that happened flies to las vegas for political fund-raiser. the next day to colorado for another event. another political event. i think these action taken by a president and a leader have
symbolic significance. perhaps even material significance in that you hope that during that time we could call in the people who were actually eyewitnesses. we've read their accounts now about what happened. it was very clear. this was not a demonstration. this was an attack by terroris terrorists. this calls into question the president's whole policy in the middle east. look what's happening in syria, in egypt. now in libya. consider the distance between ourselves and israel with the president said that he was going to put daylight between us and israel. we have iran four years closer to a nuclear bomb. syria. syria is not just a tragedy of 30,000 civilians being killed by a military but also a strategi strategically significant player for america. the president's policies throughout the middle east began with an apology tour and pursue a strategy of leading from behind. this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes. >> crowley: because we're closing in i want to still get a
lot of people in. i want to ask you something, mr. president and have the governor just quickly. your secretary of state as i'm sure you know has said that she takes full responsibility for the attack on the diplomatic mission in benghazi. does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what went on here? >> obama: secretary clinton has done an extraordinary job but she works for me. i'm the president. i'm always responsible. that's why nobody is more interested in finding out exactly what happened than i did. the day after the attack, governor, i stood in the rose garden and i told the american people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror, and i also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime. and then a few days later i was there greeting the caskets coming in to andrews air force base. and grieving with the families.
and the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our u.n. ambassador, anybody on my team would mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. that's not what we do. that's not what i do as president. that's not what i do as commander in chief. >> crowley: governor, if you want to respond >> romney: i certainly do. i think it's interesting that the president said something which is on the day after the attack he went in the rose garden and said this was an act of terror. you said in the rose garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. it was not a spontaneous demonstration. is that what you're saying >> romney: please proceed, governor >> romney: i want to make sure we get that for the record.
it took 14 days before the president called the act in benghazi an act of terror >> crowley: he did in fact, sir romney: can you say that a little louder, candy? >> crowley: he did call it an act of terror. it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of their being a riot out there about this tape to come out. you're correct about that >> romney: the administration. ( applause ) indicated that this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction. >> crowley: it did romney: it took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group. to suggest... am i incorrect in that regard? on sunday the... your secretary... excuse me. the ambassador to the united nations went on the sunday television shows and spoke about how this was a spontaneous >> crowley: mr. president... obama: i'm happy to have a longer conversation. sneapped i want to move you along >> obama: i just want to make sure that these folks will get
their questions answers >> crowley: what i want to do, mr. president, stand there for a second is. i want to introduce you to nina gonzales who brought up a question that we hear a lot both over the internet and from this crowd. >> president obama, during the democratic national convention in 2008, you statedded you wanted to keep ak-47s out of the hands of criminals. what has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons? >> obama: we're a nation that believes in the second amendment. i believe in the second amendment. we've got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect theprotect themselves. but there have been too many instances touring the course of my presidency where i've had to comfort families who have lost somebody, most recently out in
aurora. just a couple of weeks ago, probably about a month, i saw a mother who i had met at the bedside of her son who had been shot. her son had been shot through the head. make sure we're keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. we've done a much better job in terms of background checks but we have more to do when it comes
to enforcement but i also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't bloj on our streets. so what i'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally? part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced but part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence because frankly in my hometown of chicago there's an awful lot of violence. they're not using ak-47s. they're using cheap handguns. so what can we do to intervene to make sure that young people have opportunities, that our schools are working, that if there's violence on the streets that working with faith groups and law enforcement, we can catch it before it gets out of control. so what i want is a comprehensive strategy. part of it is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks in amazing numbers out of
the hands of criminals and the mentally ill but part of it is also going deeper and seeing if we can get into these communities and making sure we catch violent impulses before they occur >> crowley: governor romney, the question is about assault weapons, ak-47s >> romney: i'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. we of course don't want to have automatic weapons. that's already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons. what i believe is we have to do as the president mentioned towards the end of his remarks there, which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have and to change the culture of violence we have. you ask how are we going to do that? there are a number of things. you mentioned good schools. i totally agree. we were able to drive our schools to be number one in the nation in my state. i believe if we do a better job in education we'll give people the hope and opportunity they deserve and perhaps less violence from that. let me mention another thing. that is parents.
we need moms and dads helping raise kids. wherever possible the benefit of having two parents in the home. that's not always possible. a lot of great single moms, single dads. but, gosh, to tell our kids that before they have babies they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great idea because if there's a two-parent family, the pross speblght of living in poverty goes down dramatically. the opportunities that the child will be able to achieve increase dramatically. so we can make changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give them opportunity and bring them into the american system. the greatest failure we've had with regards to gun violence in some respects is what is known as fast and furious. which was the program under this administration and how it worked exactly i think we don't know precisely. where thousands of automatic and ak-47-type weapons were given to people that ultimately gave them to drug lords. they used those weapons against
their own citizens and killed americans with them. and this was a program of the government. for what purpose it was put in place, i can't imagine. but it's one of the great tragedies related to violence in our society which has occurredded during this administration, which i think the american people would like to understand fully. it's been investigated to a degree but the administration has carried out executive privilege to prevent all the information from coming out. i would like to understand who it was that did this. what the idea was behind it. why it led to the violence. thousands of guns going to mexican drug lords >> crowley: governor, if i could, the question was about these assault weapons that once were banned and are no longer banned. i know that you signed an assault weapons ban when you were in massachusetts. obviously with this question you no longer do support that. why is that, given the kind of violence that we see sometimes of these mass killings? why is it that you changed your
mind >> mney: in my state, candy, actually, the pro-gun folks and the antigun folks came together and put together a piece of legislation. and it's referred to as a assault weapon ban but it had at the signing of the bill both the pro gun and the antigun people came together because it provided opportunities for both. that both wanted. there were hunting opportunities, for instance, that hadn't previously been available and so forth. it was a mutually agreed upon piece of legislation. that's what we need more of ex-candy. what we have right now in washington is a place that's gridlocked. >> crowley: if you could get people to agree to it, you'd be for it >> romney: we haven't had the leadership in washington to work on a bipartisan basis. i was able to do that in my state and bring these two together. >> romney: first of all, i think governor romney was for an assault weapons ban before it was against it. he said that the reason he changed his mind was, in part, because he was seeking the
endorsement of the national rifle association. so that's on the record. but i think that one area we agree on is the importance of parents and the importance of schools. because i do believe that if our young people have opportunity, then they're less likely to engage in these kinds of violent acts. we're not going to eliminate everybody who is mentally disturbed. we've got to make sure they don't get weapons. we can make a difference in terms of ensuring that every young person in america, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, have a chance to succeed. candy, we haven't had a chance to talk about education much. but i think it is very important to understand that the reforms we've put in place working with 46 governors around the country are seeing schools that are some of the ones that are the toughest for kids starting to succeed. we're start to go seeing gains in math and science. when it comes to community colleges, we are setting up
programs including with nassau community college to retrain workers, including young people who may have dropped out of school but are not getting another chance. training them for the jobs that exist right now. and in fact employers are looking for skilled workers. and so we're matching them up. giving them access to higher education. as i said, we have made sure that millions of young people are ale to get education that they weren't able to get before. >> crowley: mr. president, i have to move you along here. we need to stop you here >> romney: just one second because this is important. this is part of the choice in this election. when governor romney was asked whether teachers, hiring more teachers was important to growing our economy, governor romney said that doesn't grow our economy. >> crowley: the question, mr. president, was guns here so i need to move us along >> romney: i understand. crowley: the question was guns >> romney: but this will make a difference in terms of whether or not we can move this economy
forward for these young people >> crowley: i understand romney: and reduce our violence >> crowley: thank you so much. i want to ask carol goldberg to stand up because she gets to a question for governor romney. >> the outsourcing of american jobs overseas has taken a toll on our economy. what plans do you have to put back and keep jobs here in the united states? >> romney: great question, an important question because you're absolutely right. and the place where we've seen manufacturing go has been china. china is now the largest manufacturer in the world. use to be the united states of america. a lot of good people have lost jobs. a half a million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last four years. that's total over the last four years. one of the reasons for that is people think it's more attractive to go off shore than to stay here. we have made it less attractive for enterprises to stay here and to go off shore from time to time. what i will do as president is make sure it's more attractive to come to america again. this is the way we're going to
create jobs in this country. it's not by trickle-down government saying we're going to take more money from people and hire more government workers, raise more taxes, put in place more regulations, trickle-down government has never worked here. it has never worked anywhere. i want to make america the most attractive place in the wld for entrepreneurs. for small business. for big business to invest and grow in america. now we're going to have to make sure as we trade with other nations that they play by the rules and china hasn't. one of the ways they don't play by the rules is artificially holding down the value of their currency. because if they put their currency down low, that means their prices and their goods are low. and that makes them advantageous in the marketplace. we lose sales and manufacturers here in the u.s. making the same products can't compete. china has been currency manipulator for years and years and years and the president has a regular opportunity to label them as a currency manipulator
but refuses to do so. on day one, i will label china, a currency manipulator which will allow me as president to be able to put in place if necessary tariffs where i believe that they are taking unfair advantage of our manacturers. so we're going to make sure that people we trade with around the world play by the rules. let me not just stop there. don't forget what's key to bringing back jobs here is not just finding someone else to punish. i'm going to be strict with people who we trade with to make sure they follow the law and play by the rules but it's also to make america the most attractive place in the world for businesses of all kinds. that's why i want to bring down the tax rates on small employers, big employers, so they want to be here. canada tax rate on companies is now 15%. ours is 35%. so if you're starting a business, where would you rather start it? we have to be competitive if we're going to create more jobs here.
regulations have quadrupled. rate of regulations quadrupled under this president. i've talked to small businesses across the country. they say we feel like we're under attack from our own government. i want to make sure that regulators see their job as encouraging small business not crushing it. and there's no question but that obama care has been an extraordinary deterrent to enterprises of all kinds hiring people. my priority is making sure that we get more people hired. if we have more people hired, if we get back manufacturing jobs, if we get back all kinds of jobs into this country, then you're going to see rising incomes again. the reason incomes are down is because unemployment is so high. i know what it takes to get this to happen. my plan will do that. one part of it is to make sure that we keep china playing by the rules. >> crowley: mr. president, two minutes here because we are then going to go to our last question. >> obama: we need to create jobs here. and both governor romney and i
agree that we should lower our corporate tax rate. it's too high. there's a difference in terms of how we would do it. i want to close loopholes that allow companies to deduct expenses when they move to china, that allow them to profit off shore, and not have to get taxed so they have tax advantages off shore. all those changes in our tax code would make a difference. now governor romney actually wants to expand those tax breaks. one of his big ideas when it comes to corporate tax reform would be to say if you invest overseas, you make profits overseas, you don't have to pay u.s. taxes. but of course if you're a small business or a mom-and-pop business or a big business starting up here, you've got to pay even the reduced rate that governor romney is talking about. it's estimated that that will create 800,000 new jobs. the problem is they'll be in china. or india. or germany.
that's not the way we're going to create jobs here. the way we're going to create jobs here is is not just to change our tax code but also to double our exports. and we are on pace to double our exports. one of the commitments i made when i was president. that's creating tens of thousands of jobs all across the country. that's why we've kept on pushing trade deals. the trade deals that make sure american businesses are getting a good deal. now governor romney talked about china. as i already indicated, in the private sector governor romney's company invested in what were called pioneers of outsourcing. that's not my phrase. that's what reporters called it. and as far as currency manipulation, the currency has actually gone up 11% since i've been president because we have pushed them hard. we've put unprecedented trade pressure on china. that's why exports have significantly increased under my presidency. that's going to help to create jobs here.
>> crowley: mr. president we have a really short time for a quick discussion here. i-pad, the macs, the i-phones, they are all manufactured in china. one of the major reasons is labor is so much cheaper here. how do you convince a great american company to bring that manufacturing back here? >> romney: the answer is very straightforward. we can compete with any anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level. china's been cheating over the years. one, by holding down the value of their currency. two, by stealing our intellectual property, our designs, our patents our technology. there's even an apple store in china that's a counterfeit apple store. they hack into our computers. we will have to have people play on a fair basis. that's number one. number two, we have to make america the most attractive place for entrepreneurs, for people who want to expand the business. that's what brings jobs in. the president's characterization of my tax plan is completely
false. let me tell you... >> crowley: to the president here because we really are running out of time. the question is, can we ever get... we can't get wages like that. it can't be sustained here >> obama: candy, some jobs won't come back because they're low-wage, low-skill jobs. i want high-wage high-skill jobs. that's why we have to emphasize manufacturing. that's why we ha invest in advanced manufacturing. that's why we've got to make sure we have the best science and research in the world. when we talk about deficits, if we're adding to our deficit for tax cuts, for folks who don't need them and we're cutting investments and research in science that will create the next apple, create the next new innovation that will sell products around the world, we will lose that race. if we're not training engineers to make sure that they are equipped here in this country. then companies won't come here. those investments are what's going to help to make sure that we continue to lead this world economy not just next year but
ten years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now >> crowley: thanks, mr. president. >> romney: government does not create jobs >> crowley: i want to introduce you to barry green because he'll have the last question to you first. >> romney: hi, barry hi, governor. i think this is a tough question. for each of you. what do you believe is the biggest misperception that the american people have about you as a man and a candidate, using specific examples. can you take this opportunity to debunk that misperception and set us straight. >> romney: thank you. that's an opportunity for me. i appreciate it. in the nature of a campaign, it seems that some campaigns are focused on attacking a person rather than describing their own future and the things they'd like to do. in the course of that i think the president's campaign has tried to characterize me as someone who is very different than who i am. i care about 100% of the
american people. i want 100% of the american people to have a bright and prosperous future. i care about our kids. i understand what it takes to make a bright and prosperous future for america again. i spent my life in the private sector not in government. i'm a guy who wants to help with the experience i have the american people. my passion probably flows from the fact that i believe in god. i believe we're all children of the same god. i believe we have a responsibility to care for one another. i served as a missionary for my church. i served as a pastor in my congregation for about ten years. i've sat across the table from people who were out of work. and worked with them to try and find new work or to them help them through tough times. i went to the olympics when they were in trouble to try to get them on track. as governor of my state i was able to get 100% of my people insured. all my kids, about 98% of the adults. i was able also to get our
schools ranked number one in the nation to 100% of our kids would have a bright opportunity for a future. i understand that i can get this country on track again. we don't have to settle for what we're going through. we don't have to settle for gasoline at $4. we don't have to settle for unemployment at a chronically high level. we don't have to settle for 47 million people on food stamps. we don't have to settle for 50% of kids coming out of college not able to get work. we don't have to settle for 23 million people struggling to find a good job. if i become president, i'll get america working again. i will get us on track to aal ba answered budget. the president hasn't. i will. i'll make sure we can reform medicare and social security to preserve them for coming generations. the president said he would. he didn't. >> crowley: governor romney: i'll get our incomes up. by the way i've done these things. i searchd as governor and showed i could get them done >> crowley: mr. president, the last two minutes belong to you. >> obama: barry, i think a lot of this campaign maybe over the
last four years has been devoted to this notion that i think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer. that's not what i believe. i believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world has ever known. i believe in self-reliance. and individual initiative. and risk takers being rewarded. but i also believe that everybody should have a fair shot. everybody should do their fair share. everybody should play by the same rules. because that's how our economy has grown. that's how we built the world's greatest middle class. and that is part of what is at stake in this election. there's a fundamentally different vision about how we move our country forward. i believe governor romney is a good man. loves his family. cares about his faith. but i also believe that when he said behind closed doors that
47% of the country considered themselves victims who refused personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about. folks on social security who would vrked all their lives. veterans who sacrificed for this country. students who were out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams but also this country's dreams. soldiers who were overseas fighting for us right now. people who are working hard every day, paying pail role tax, gas taxes but don't make enough income. i want to fight for them. that's what i've been doing for the last four years because if they succeed, i believe the country succeeds. when my grandfather fought in world war ii and he came back and he got a g.i. bill and that allowed him to go to college, that wasn't a handout. that was something that advanced the entire country. i want to make sure that the next generation has those same
opportunities. that's why i'm asking for your vote. that's why i'm asking for another four years >> crowley: president obama, governor romney, thank you for being here tonight. on that note, we have come to an end of this town hall debate. ( applause ) our thanks to the participants for their time and to the people of hofstra university for their hospital pit amount. the next and final debate takes place monday night at lynn university in boca raton florida. don't forget to watch election day is three weeks from today. don't forget to vote. good night. >> ifill: with that the second debate between president obama and former governor mitt romney is done. as the families, the wives. that's ann romney there coming up to greet her husband. of course we're going to see, i imagine, at the same time, the president making her way toward michelle obama. they're going to greet members of this town hall. we're going to bring in here with judy wood rough, of course. gwen, i think we saw a very different dent from the first presidential debate.
this is the president who displayed more energy. you heard him use the word fight there. but this is a president who seemed to be fighting for the job of president for a second term. that was something that was, i think, very much in question after the debate that we saw happen in denver earlier this month. >> woodruff: david brooks, how did you see it >> if we go by winners and losers i would have to say obama won this debate. romney gave good answers. there were two really good answers that romney gave on what the last four years have been like differentiating himself from george w. bush but in general i thought obama was more poised, more fluid, more natural. had some moments, some television moments, objecting to mitt romney's characterization of his actions after the benghazi attack. a series of moments, the cross-talk between them i thought he seemed a little more in control. so i would think that in the balance as these things are judged the edge tonight would have to go to the president >> ifill: what do you think
about that, mark >> i don't know what the masked man was that showed up tonight. he wasn't there in denver. the president won no question about it. he had certain specifics to achieve. he mentioned planned parenthood five times. he was obviously unnerved his campaign had been by the numbers that women voters who had been the staunchest supporters somehow softened in their support for him. i thought that mitt romney's best answer by far was the one that mr. jones asked about why president obama deserves a second term. he made the case why president obama didn't deserve the second term. i thought that was his strongest. but on the taxes, let's be very frank about i. he is not convincing or per persuasive. mitt romney. i thought the president was very aggressive pointing out he can't abolish the estate tax, keep the bush tax cut cut taxes across the board, eliminate dividends and capital gains taxes for most
people in the country and somehow not reduce revenues. that just isn't believable. i thought from that point forward the president really had the upper hand and was was more aggression i have been >> ifill: we neglected to introduce our duo, mark shields syndicated columnist and david brooks of the "new york times." >> woodruff: go ahead, mark hat the lead is, women. mitas he told the story about te women in his cabinet was that was affirmative action. that is affirmative action. you have all these men. he said can't we find some women? go out and find some women. that's the definition of affirmative action. i'll be interested to see the wall street journal editorial page attack him on that tomorrow. >> woodruff: what about what the president had to say about a second term. did you get a clearer sense tonight of what he's going to
do? >> no. this is the core of vulnerability. each side has core vulnerabilities. romney has the vulnerability that a lot of his numbers don't add up. it was frankly nice to see a politician pay for that. he paid for it tonight. obama's vulnerability he doesn't have much of a second-term agenda. romney did not make him pay for that. neither can any of the questioners. that way the president got off a little lighter on his core vulnerability than the republican >> i hate to say i agree with david but i do. the president has yet to tell us how his second term would be different from his first term. it will be better for the country. i thought he overused the first person singular proceed noun. the president did. it was i, my administration, my people, my ambassador. i mean, there wasn't enough we. strangely he did not connect well in the room with the people. i didn't think either one of them did. there was no clintonian moment. >> ifill: a lot of cross arms. i'm curious because this debate
was so different from the other debates we've seen with people in the audience with walking around. they seemed to almost get into it a couple of times. how did that strike you? i was a little uncomfortable >> i thought somebody was going to throw a punch. it got hot. they argued with candy crowley a little too much about the rules. never do that. i thought at those moments i thought they both looked bad when they were trying to talk all over each other. the alpha male competition works when you're talking about something. when ear just trying to be mr. alpha, it looks boyish >> woodruff: we're going to bring in our geoffrey brown right now who is joined by some friends of ours. jeff. >> brown: i am joined by presidential michael beschloss and christina bellantoni. the short and long of it. christina you were looking at the as it happen take from social media >> in tick we were looking at women this evening. one of the things that really stuck out was something that they just mentioned of course with this comment about women full of binders. that was obviously pretty
colorful language. binders full of women. you know, that became sort of an instant meme on twitter. women were responding to it on facebook and the social network. and wal-mart moms were in a focus group. they were sending us all night long. >> brown: what were they saying a couple different things. they were not that interested in the response that the president gave about how mitt romney and george w. bush were different whereas that really trended on twitter. a lot of partisans were exercised about that. they were very frustrated by the working with candy crowley and talking to her about not being enough time. women did not like that >> brown: michael, the longer view. what echos did you hear? jumped out at you? >> 1984. ronald reagan as president was debating walter mondale. famously bad for him. turned in a performance that many thought that president reagan had lost it. he was not with the intensity he had before. people wondered whether he was
up for a second term. a lot of the same things that were said about barack obama. the thing is reagan in the second debate after the first one had caused him in polls to be tied with walter mondale reversed the damage. swept it away. so i think with this performance tonight, i think barack obama may very well do the same thing >> brown: what about the format question. guys were just talking about. especially some of those confrontational moments >> this was the sixth town meeting debate. the idea of this in the first place when it was starred in 1992 was that it's one way of making sure at least you have one debate whether they're kind to each other because they're not going to confront each other. this was the iciest town meeting debate of all six. i used to think that 2000 between george w. bush and al gore was an uncomfortable evening. compared to this one that was valentine's day. >> brown: christina, you had spoken to both campaigns today. they knew what they were talking into >> they did.
they each had the points they wanted to make. we talked to the obama's campaign in chicago. they said he would be talking about self-deportation. he made sure to bring that up before the question about immigration was even asked. he wanted to target that one >> brown: other themes you were expecting to hear >> both camps really wanted to connect not just with the people in that room but with the people at home. that's why you saw a lot of personal stories weaved in. one thing you heard were a lot of specifics. that's what people were responding to positively in social media and the traditional focus groups we looked at. >> in terms of degree of difficulty, it's almost always harder for the incumbent president running for re-election because he's got to defend the record. he's done all sorts of things for four years. the challenger can always say i'll do this and that. i'll do better. it sounds better. so i think by that standard also barack obama did very well tonight. >> brown: but he was under pressure as you said to come in and try to make up for lost ground. we were listening for what he mentioned things like the 47%.
>> which he did at the end very end but what he did not do is what we've seen with other incumbent presidents which is they're very heavy on rebutting what the challenger says. very light in terms of saying what they would do in the second term. ronald reagan especially >> brown: michael and christina, thanks so much. back to you, judy and gwen. >> ifill: we're going to go back to hempstead new york. we're joined by ari shapiro of npr and jonathan martin of politico. we know there was pre-debate spin, during debate spin and post debate spin. who thinks they won? >> to give you a sense for who the campaigns think won, president obama's surrogate and top advisors, gwen, were out there a good five minutes tonight before the debate even ended in the spin room. david axle rod and company came marching out to claim victory. soon after the romney folks were there. but there is no question on the heels of a poor performance in
denver, gwen, president obama's high command is exhilarated tonight. they think he had a really strong performance here in new york. he has gotten this thing straight. i was really taken by the extent to which president obama laid out an indictment of governor romney. i can't recall a sitting president taking after a challenger in the way that president obama did tonight. it was reminiscent of what governor romney did during the primary debates when he would store so much information in his head about rick perry or newt gingrich or rick santorum and then during the course of a 90-minute debate lay it out there. immigration, women's issues, taxes, spending. it was all there. an entire binder of information. >> woodruff: ari shapiro you've been following governor romney on the trail. how did governor romney what he had to say tonight compare to what you've been hearing lately in the first debate? >> very similar to what he had
been saying on the trail. i thought it was very similar to mitt romney to the romney we saw in the first debate. what was different was his opponent. you saw mitt romney keep coming back to whatever president obama promises you have to remember we've had four years of what romney describes as the obama economy. he kept citing the number he always named on the stump. 23 million people looking for work. dropped out of the work force. don't have a job or underemployed. and one of the things that was really interesting to me was that as the conversation turned to certain groups of president obama has to win over, whether it's women, whether it's latinos, while president obama was offering specific prescriptions for women's health, for example, for immigration policy, mitt romney said the most important thing, whether you're a student, you need a job. you need a better economy. whether you're a woman asking about pay equity he said you need a job you need a better economy. for him it kept coming back to the same point again and again and again through the 90 minutes. >> ifill: that last question which gave each candidate a chance to redefine himself to
clear up a little misunderstanding about themselves was their strategy going into this debate tonight for each of those candidates about what they wanted to do and how they wanted to come away? >> well, i think in the case of president obama, it was certain to be much more aggressive and to lay out a much tougher case against governor romney than he had in the previous debate. for governor romney, i think it was to make sure that he gave as good as he got. i think governor romney had some good moments in this debate tonight. i think he was really on his message talking about the president presidents record in the last four years but president obama was just so relentless in his attacks against governor romney. i think most folks will recall this debate for just the extent of... the ferocity, if you will, that president obama laid down his case. it was really remarkable. i think mr. beschloss pointed out that it was almost stunning to hear so little about his second obama term. he was entirely focused on just
taking down romney's record. it's clear that his campaign thinks that's the imperative here. you have to really take down romney to win. >> woodruff: we are going to leave it there. we thank you both jonathan martin and ari shapiro. both of you joining us from the debate site at hofstra university in new york. so come back here to our two guests, gwen. david and mark. is there any danger though that the difference that we saw in president obama tonight was so different that there's any risk in a different persona >> the risk as michael and jonathan were talking about was the iciness and the coldness. michael earlier. how that plays. it's clearly the people who are on their side they're going to love that. how those who are undecided and persuadable, the two of them are not likable in this context. they're not warm and fuzzy.
for people who are judging more a personality, who is like me? who gets me? i'm not sure they see each of them saying, i want... he gets me. >> ifill: the president seemed determined to come back time and again to mitt romney's consistency or lack thereof on any number of issues. he kept circle being back to that >> he did. even where mitt romney had an advantage i thought on the president on immigration, the president has never introduced comprehensive immigration legislation. >> ifill: or gun control and gun control. both of them. both issues interestingly enough brought up by questioners. i mean in the town meeting. that is a good recommendation for the town meeting. but in both cases i thought that mitt romney was not a very effective messenger because of his own problems or his own primary record on immigration. i mean, he isn't in a position to make the case even though i think the president was vulnerable. i do think that there wasn't a flash of humor really or really
even vulnerability. there was never a sense of humility that either one of them gave >> woodruff: why do you think that is? >> i think the stakes are too high. i think we're at a 48-48 race or whatever you want to call it. and the president knows that he got his head handed to him in denver. it hurt him. there's been a four-point change in the polls since then. and he had to be tough. mitt romney is a natural combatant >> the person who is deemed to have won the debate is the person who dominates the room. so it becomes alpha male >> ifill: still 48-48 after tonight >> i think obama will get a little something out of this. that would be my guess. i say that with some trepidation because the coolness, you know, i think that may not... it won't help romney but it may not swing things >> ifill: as christina was observing about women and whether women liked that exchange and the attempt to... >> woodruff: the very same reaction online.
with that, that does end our coverage of this second presidential debate. we'll see you again here tomorrow night at our regular newshour time. for now, i'm gwen ifill >> woodruff: and i'm judy wood rough. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: beijing, for 15 years viking cruises has transported travelers to another world, a world of dramatic landscapes, majestic castles and remarkable characters, all brought to life on board cruises so travelers can spend less time getting there and more time being there. viking cruises. exploring the world in comfort. >> music is a universal language. when i was in an accident, with
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